I want to use this post as a sort of closing comment for the previous one because I feel like I closed it too quickly. All that setup and maths needs a better ending than just a few enthusiastic lines about how great is to be imperfect.
Yes, given my maths background, I couldn’t help but wonder which function better describes the path to perfection. I stopped before getting too deep into optimization strategies and heuristics since they were well beyond the scope of what I wanted to prove, and I asserted that perfection is a composition of two terms.
One of them is not universal, meaning that there isn’t a clear maximum for that function. On the other hand, we have a clear idea about the other one but we still can’t reach it because it’s an asymptote to our function.
Bottom line: we can’t achieve perfection, no matter how close we get. Someone might find it frustrating, but I don’t. Actually, the unreachability of perfection is a good thing.
In episode 9 of the second season of Wynonna Earp (if you never watched it, well you should), Rosita explains to Waverly why it doesn’t make sense to whine because life isn’t perfect. She says that imperfections are what makes life interesting and worth taking action, and she goes as far as explaining why bubbles form in champagne glasses.
The show itself was a manifesto to the beauty of the perfect imperfection: it was rough and unpolished, and at times it didn’t seem to have a clear idea about where it wanted to go with the main storyline, but it nevertheless managed to unite a huge group of people under the same fandom and make them be part of something.
As much as I’ve never verified if the science behind bubbles and champagne is true, I totally agree with Rosita.
Not only because bumps in the road are what makes us grow up and learn, but because it’s true: perfection is boring, perfection is dull. My belief is that we progress as individuals (and as a whole) when we’re driven by curiosity and dissatisfaction. The curiosity about what’s around the corner, and the dissatisfaction of knowing that there’s something we don’t know, leading us to take the steps to actually turn that corner.
The curiosity about what happens if I tweak that parameter, about what would happen to my protagonist if I let them go that way, and the dissatisfaction to not know yet how it will go. Without curiosity, there’s no unsatisfaction, and vice-versa. And without them there’s no progress.
As I said in my previous post, I think perfection is an asymptote, and that’s a good thing: it’s something we think we see in front of us and that constantly drives us to improve. If we can’t imagine something better than what we already have, we’ll never look for it.